GBI Basics of Grace Summer 2010 An Overview of Systematic Theology Why Studying Theology is so Important The Importance of Theology • • • It is the means to a COMPREHENSIVE framework and understanding of God and His Word. God has COMMANDED us to pursue a rigorous understanding of Him, as His multiple exhortations to teach, keep and protect sound theology demonstrate. Everyone lives his THEOLOGY. What we believe informs and motivates what we do (which is why what we do reveals far more about what we truly believe than what we say). Theology Defined Theos + logos = theology God + word = word/study of God Systematic theology is the ORGANIZED, harmonious, arrangement of all known truth about God and His works — based fundamentally and primarily on SCRIPTURE — so that the understanding of Him is both comprehensive and TRANSFORMING. Theology Defined Systematic theology will typically include at least the following areas of study: Bibliology = the doctrine of the Bible Theology proper = the doctrine of God Christology = the doctrine of Christ Pneumatology = the doctrine of the Holy Spirit Anthropology = the doctrine of man Hamartiology = the doctrine of sin Soteriology = the doctrine of salvation Ecclessiology = the doctrine of the church Angelology = the doctrine of angels Eschatology = the doctrine of last things Bibliology: Why is the Bible so Important? A Study of the Doctrine of the Bible Bibliology Defined Biblos + logos = bibliology Book + word = word/study of Scripture Bibliology is divided into six main areas of discussion: revelation, inspiration, inerrancy, authority, illumination and canonicity. The Revelation of Scripture Since God is infinite and man is finite, man could not know the truth about God unless God would chose to tell man about Himself. Thus, revelation is “the unveiling of God’s truth as well as the truth unveiled. It is the act of unveiling as well as the contents unveiled.” The Revelation of Scripture God has revealed Himself in two ways — • GENERAL Revelation • SPECIAL Revelation The Inspiration of Scripture Inspiration is the process by which Scripture was given to man through the work of the Holy Spirit, guaranteeing the accuracy of God’s revelation (the revelation of God would be of no value without such a guarantee). “The Scriptures are not the product of God and man, nor of God in a man. They are the result of God speaking through man.” The Inspiration of Scripture Key verse = 2 Timothy 3:16-17 • The Scriptures are “God-breathed” • This Bible, while written by the pens of men, is fully and finally God’s very own Word The Inerrancy of Scripture “Inerrancy means that when all the facts are known, the Scriptures in their original autographs and properly interpreted will be shown to be wholly true in everything they teach, whether that teaching has to do with doctrine, history, science, geography, geology, or other disciplines of knowledge.” The Inerrancy of Scripture Biblical and logical proof for the inerrancy of Scripture: 1. All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable… (2 Tim. 3:16) 2. The Word of God is truth (Jn. 17:17; Ps. 119:160) 3. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2) THEREFORE: the Scriptures are inerrant The Authority of Scripture “Authority is the triune God in selfrevelation who has the right and power to command compliance in thought and deed on the part of His rational creatures.” The Authority of Scripture Key verse = 2 Pt. 1:2-3 Scripture is to be heeded because every IMPERATIVE of Scripture carries the weight of “thus says the Lord, the unique, authoritative speaker (Word).” The Illumination of Scripture Illumination is “the ministry of the Holy Spirit whereby He enlightens those who are in a right relationship with Him to comprehend the written Word of God.” The Illumination of Scripture • Key verse = 1 Cor. 2:12-14 • The reason the Holy Spirit is needed to interpret Scripture for us is that the fall made us unable to understand God and His Word (cf. 1 Cor. 2:14). The Canonicity of Scripture Canonicity is the science by which the Jewish people and then the early church recognized the Biblical writings to be inspired by God at the time of their writing. Bibliology Applied 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Since God is revealed in Scripture, it means that God is interested in communicating with me! Since the Scriptures are written by God and not men, they are fully trustworthy. Anything God says needs to be said only once to be confessed, obeyed, trusted, or appropriated. Since God has written with authority, His words are both forceful and binding. Since God has used 40 writers over the span of 1000+ years to write the Bible, He will not give it to me and allow me to not understand it. If I read to discern, His Spirit will instruct me (1 Cor. 2:12). Since God is the author of the Bible, He is to be worshipped. How shall I read the Bible? Read with the intent of knowing God and His mind, not “solving problems.” Theology Proper: What is God Like? A Study of the Attributes and Nature of God Knowing the truth of God will produce REST and TRUST in Him. Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has wrought desolations in the earth. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire. “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. (Ps. 46:8-11) “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us…For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like.… “…We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about Him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech.” Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy. What are the attributes of God? “An attribute of God is whatever God has in any way revealed as being true of Himself.…An attribute, then, is a part of God. It is how God is, and as far as the reasoning mind can go, we may say that it is what God is…” Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy. What are the attributes of God? • God’s INCOMMUNICABLE attributes have nothing analogous in God’s created beings. INFINITY —God is limitless, measureless and knows no bounds. ETERNALITY — God is without beginning or end; He is free from all succession of time; He is the cause of time. Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. Psalm 90:2 “‘From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God,’ said Moses in the Spirit. ‘From the vanishing point to the vanishing point’ would be another way to say it quite in keeping with the words as Moses used them. The mind looks backward in time till the dim past vanishes, then turns and looks into the future till thought and imagination collapse from exhaustion; and God is at both points, unaffected by either.” A. W. Tozer. What are the attributes of God? • God’s incommunicable attributes. INFINITY —God is limitless, measureless and knows no bounds. ETERNALITY IMMENSITY— He cannot be localized in one place. God transcends all spatial limitations; He is present in every point in space with His entire being. “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built! ” 1 Kings 8:27 What are the attributes of God? • God’s incommunicable attributes. Infinity SELF-EXISTENCE — “The ground of His existence is in Himself.” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.’”(Ex. 3:14-15) “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself” (Jn. 5:26) “…nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;” (Acts 17:25) What are the attributes of God? • God’s incommunicable attributes. Infinity Self-existence IMMUTABILITY — “God undergoes no change in being, perfections, purposes and promises.” God never grows, develops or differs with Himself Disclaimer #1: Immutability does not imply IMMOBILITY. God is a God who is always in action in His relationship with man. But in His being, attributes, purpose and promises there is a complete absence of change. Disclaimer #2: When Scripture says that God “changes” or “repents,” it does not mean that God Himself has CHANGED. God does not change in relation to His BEING (Ex. 3:14; Heb. 1:11-12) God does not change in relation to His PERFECTIONS (Rom. 1:23) God does not change in relation to His PURPOSES (1 Sam. 15:29; Dt. 28-30) God does not change in relation to His PROMISES (Num. 23:19) God does not CHANGE (Mal. 3:6; Js. 1:17) “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” (Mal. 3:6) Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (Js. 1:17) What are the attributes of God? • God’s incommunicable attributes. Infinity Self-existence Immutability UNITY — God is numerically ONE and is UNIQUE. All other beings exist of, through, and unto Him. God is not composite and is not susceptible of division into parts. The three persons of the triune Godhead are not parts of which the Divine essence is composed (1 Pt. 1:2). …yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. (1 Cor. 8:6) What are the attributes of God? • God’s incommunicable attributes. • God’s COMMUNICABLE attributes are not experienced completely in man, but man does demonstrate something of God’s nature in him (Gen. 1:27a). “There are many of the divine attributes that, if God had not created the world, never would have had any exercise — the power of God, the wisdom of God, the prudence and contrivance of God, the goodness and mercy and grace of God, the justice of God…” John Piper, God’s Passion for His Glory. What are the attributes of God? • God’s communicable attributes. HOLINESS — God is “set apart, distinct,” that is, He is free from and set apart from sin. God’s holiness cannot and does not tolerate sin. His holiness refers both to the absence of sin in God and the presence of infinite purity in Him. “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” 1 Pt. 1:15-16 “We cannot grasp the true meaning of the divine holiness by thinking of someone or something very pure and then raising the concept to the highest degree we are capable of. God’s holiness is not simply the best we know infinitely bettered. It stands apart, unique, unapproachable, incomprehensible, and unattainable. The natural man is blind to it. He may fear God’s power and admire His wisdom, but His holiness he cannot even imagine.” Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy. What are the attributes of God? • God’s communicable attributes. Holiness OMNISCIENCE — God is all (Latin, omni) knowing. His knowledge is perfect and complete, knowing all that is actual and all that is possible. And His knowledge is intuitive — it is immediate (not coming through the senses), simultaneous (not acquired through observation or reason), actual (complete), and according to reality. God is omniscient Ps. 139:1-6 — God knows all things that actually exist. Mt. 11:21 — God knows all the variables concerning things that have not occurred. Dan. 2:36-43; 7:4-8 — God knows all things that will yet transpire. “God sees you as much as if there were nobody else in the world for Him to look at. If I have as many people as there are here to look at, of course my attention must be divided. But the infinite mind of God is able to grasp a million objects at once and yet to focus as much on one as if there were nothing else but that one.” C. H. Spurgeon. What are the attributes of God? • God’s communicable attributes. Holiness Omniscience OMNIPOTENCE — God can do anything that he wills to do and anything that is in harmony with His perfections. “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Dan. 4:35) “Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (Gen. 18:14) “And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;” (Rev. 20:2) “Nothing is too hard for Him. If God were stinted in might and had a limit to His strength we might well despair. But seeing that He is clothed with omnipotence, no prayer is too hard for Him to answer, no need too great for Him to supply, no passion too strong for him to subdue; no temptation too powerful for Him to deliver from, no misery too deep for Him to relieve. ‘The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Psa. 27:1).” Pink, Attributes of God. What are the attributes of God? • God’s communicable attributes. Holiness Omniscience Omnipotence OMNIPRESENCE — God is everywhere present and everything is immediately in his presence. “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’” (Acts 17:24-28) “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU” (Heb. 13:5) “Living becomes and awesome business when you realize that you spend every moment of your life in the sight and company of an omniscient, omnipotent Creator.” J. I. Packer, Knowing God. What are the attributes of God? • God’s communicable attributes. Holiness Omniscience Omnipotence Omnipresence WISDOM — the perfection of God whereby He applies His knowledge to the attainment of His ends in a way which glorifies Him most. I.e., how God applies His knowledge. “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Rom. 11:33-36) “Many today who profess to be Christ’s never learn wisdom, through failure to attend sufficiently to God’s written word.…What fools some of us are! — and we remain fools all our lives, simply because we will not take the trouble to do what has to be done to receive the wisdom which is God’s free gift.” J. I. Packer, Knowing God. What are the attributes of God? • God’s communicable attributes. Holiness Omniscience Omnipotence Omnipresence Wisdom SOVEREIGNTY — He is, in concert with all His attributes, infinitely and eternally authoritative and in control of all things and all people. God is sovereign 1 Thess. 4:3; Eph. 5:17 — God’s PRECEPTIVE will — which may be disobeyed Jn. 6:37-44 — God’s DECREED will — which will always be accomplished Dt. 29:29 — there are some things which are known to God alone “…ultimately, there are only two options. Either God is sovereign and has absolute control over the world and universe or God does not have sovereign control, and the world and universe carry on in defiance of His holy will.” Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology. “Nothing touches me that has not passed through the hands of my heavenly Father. Nothing. Whatever occurs, God has sovereignly surveyed and approved. We may not know why (we may never know why), but we do know our pain is no accident to Him who guides our lives. He is in no way surprised by it all. Before it ever touches us, it passes through Him. [Moreover], everything I incur is designed to prepare me for serving others more effectively. Everything.” Charles Swindoll, Improving Your Serve. What are the attributes of God? • God’s communicable attributes. Sovereignty LOVE — “The perfection of the divine nature by which God is eternally moved to communicate Himself. It is not a mere emotional impulse, but a rational and voluntary affection, having its ground in truth and holiness and its exercise in free choice.” [Thiessen] The object of God’s love is ultimately not people but Himself — that is, He loves people as an expression of His love for Himself and as the means for the greatest display of His glory. “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” (Dt. 7:7-8) God’s Love — a summary Dt. 7:7-8 — His love is not earned or merited, but is a gift of grace. Jn. 3:16; 13:34 — He has love for all men, but a particular love for those who are His. 1 Jn. 4:9ff — His love is the means by which we love others; the reception of His love necessitates the extension of love to others. “We must understand that it is God’s very nature to love. The reason our Lord commanded us to love our enemies is ‘in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous’ (Matt. 5:45; NASB). That passage and the verses in its immediate context refute Arthur Pink’s claim that Jesus never told sinners God loved them. Here Jesus clearly characterized His Father as One who loves even those who purposefully set themselves at enmity against Him.” John MacArthur, The Love of God. What are the attributes of God? • God’s communicable attributes. Sovereignty Love JEALOUSY — The expression of God’s love so that He works with infinite power and authority to preserve the truth. With regard to Himself and the truth, He is jealous to preserve His name; with regard to His people, He works to preserve both them and His relationship with Him. “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me” (Ex. 20:4-5) The Jealousy of God summarized Ex. 20:4-5 — God is jealous for His name 1 Pt. 1:3-5 — God uses His power to protect the inheritance of His people Hosea 1-3 — God is jealous for the fellowship of His people. What are the attributes of God? • God’s communicable attributes. Sovereignty Love Jealousy GRACE — Grace is God’s unmerited and undeserving favor to those who are under condemnation (i.e., all humanity). The great act of God’s grace is in his provision of salvation for lost humanity. The grace of God — God’s grace can be distinguished from His compassion and mercy this way — God’s COMPASSION is that emotion that compels Him to have pity on those who are estranged from Him through sin. In His MERCY, God withholds that judgment which the sinner rightly deserves. In His GRACE, God gives His salvation and imputes Christ’s righteousness to the undeserving sinner. “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.” (Rom. 9:22-24) “You’ll never run into a stratum in God that is hard. You’ll always find God gracious, at all times and toward all peoples forever. You’ll never run into any meanness in God, never any resentment or rancor or ill will, for there is none there. God has no ill will toward any being. God is a God of utter kindness and cordiality and good will and benevolence. And yet all of these work in perfect harmony with God’s justice and God’s judgment.” A. W. Tozer, The Radical Cross. What are the attributes of God? • God’s communicable attributes. Sovereignty Love Jealousy Grace PATIENCE — The expression of God’s love in His bearing with (and withholding judgment of0 those who persist in doing evil and disobeying God despite both God’s general and special revelation to them. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Pt. 3:9) What are the attributes of God? • God’s communicable attributes. Sovereignty Love Jealousy Grace Patience GOODNESS — “That perfection which prompts God to deal bountifully and kindly with all His creatures.” This goodness is not an added quality, but of His very essence and infinite in scope. Nothing can be added to His goodness to make Him more good. And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” (Mk. 10:18) “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Mt. 7:7-11) What are the attributes of God? • God’s communicable attributes. Sovereignty Love Jealousy Grace Patience Goodness RIGHTEOUSNESS — As a complement to God’s holiness, God is right (His holiness) and always does what is right in relation to His people. His holiness is a consideration of His inherent purity; His righteous is a consideration of His inherently right actions. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:17-18) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) “Wrath in God must not be conceived of in terms of the fitful passion with which anger is frequently associated in us. But to construe God’s wrath as consisting simply in his purpose to punish sin or to secure the connection between sin and misery is to equate wrath with its effects and virtually eliminate wrath as a movement in the mind of God. Wrath is the holy revulsion of God’s being against that which is the contradiction of his holiness. The reality of God’s wrath in this specific character is shown by the fact that it is ‘revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.’” John Murray, Romans. What are the attributes of God? • God’s communicable attributes. Sovereignty Love Jealousy Grace Patience Goodness Righteousness TRUTH — God alone is infinitely true and there is none like Him. He is the only true God. Because He is true, then all that He says and does is also true. What are the attributes of God? • INCOMMUNICABLE INFINITY SELF-EXISTENCE IMMUTABILITY UNITY • COMMUNICABLE HOLINESS OMNISCIENCE OMNIPOTENCE OMNIPRESENCE WISDOM SOVEREIGNTY LOVE JEALOUSY GRACE PATIENCE GOODNESS RIGHTEOUSNESS TRUTH The Trinity of God • Definition — God exists eternally in three distinct and separate persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — yet those three Persons exist as one God. Some have even called this doctrine “Tri-Unity,” attempting to emphasize the oneness of God. The Trinity of God • God is one in ESSENCE. This oneness is taught in Dt. 6:4, affirming both the uniqueness and unity of God. “It means all three Persons possess the summation of the divine attributes but yet the essence of God is undivided. Oneness in essence also emphasizes that the three Persons of the Trinity do not act independently of one another.” [Enns, p. 200.] The Trinity of God • God is one in essence. • God is three in PERSON. That is, God does not exist in three different ways or modes, but He exists in three distinct Persons that are unified as one God (e.g., Is. 48:16; 61:1). The Father is called God (1 Cor. 8:6) The Son is called God (John 1:1; Heb. 1:8-10) The Holy Spirit is called God (Acts 5:4) The Trinity of God • God is one in essence. • God is three in Person. • The three have distinct RELATIONSHIPS. “The Father is not begotten nor does He proceed from any person; the Son is eternally begotten from the Father (John 1:18; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9).…The Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son (John 14:26; 16:7).” [Enns, p. 200.] Yet these different relationships do not imply inferiority or superiority within the Godhead. The Trinity of God • • • • God is one in essence. God is three in Person. The three have distinct relationships. The three Persons are equal in AUTHORITY. “The Father is recognized as authoritative and supreme (1 Cor. 8:6); the Son is also recognized as equal to the Father in every respect (John 5:21-23); the Spirit is likewise recognized as equal to the Father and the Son (cf. Matt. 12:31).” [Enns, p. 200.] The Trinity of God • • • • • God is one in essence. God is three in Person. The three have distinct relationships. The three Persons are equal in authority. The three persons are all ACTIVE in the great acts of God in HISTORY and redemption — The Trinity of God • The three persons are all active in the great acts of God in history and redemption — Creation (Gen. 1:1; Col. 1:16; Ps. 104:30) Incarnation (Lk. 1:35) Christ’s baptism (Mt. 3:16-17) Atonement (Heb. 9:14) Resurrection (Acts 2:32; Jn. 10:17-18; Ro. 1:4) Salvation (1 Pt. 1:2) Indwelling of the believer (Jn. 14:15-23) The Trinity of God “…how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14) “…according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.” (1 Pt. 1:2) The Trinity of God These truths combine to produce a picture of God wherein all the members of the Godhead work together, each in their own divine roles, to produce a people that are justified and sanctified to forever glorify the Son. The Trinity of God • Three common errors about the Trinity: Tri-theism —the 3 persons of the godhead are all God, but they were not one God. Modalism (Sabellianism) — there is one God, but He exists in three different modes or manifestations. Arianism — the Son is subordinate to the Father — they are not co-equal — leading to a denial of the deity of Christ. The Trinity of God “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” (Jn. 5:22-23) “There is only one fountain of lasting joy — the overflowing gladness of God in god. Without beginning and without ending, without source and without cause, without help and assistance, the spring is eternally self-replenishing. From this unceasing fountain of joy flow all grace and all joy in the universe…Let everyone who is thirsty come.” Piper, The Pleasures of God.